During our visits to Google and Workday the term “imposter syndrome” was brought up. While at both site visits we talked to numerous employees and they all explained their experience with imposter syndrome. According to Psychology Today imposter syndrome is “a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.” When we talked to the employees they explained how it took a few weeks getting use to working there and how they could not believe that they were actually working there.
I personally experienced imposter syndrome when I transferred into Pitt Business. After transferring multiple times I remember thinking how crazy it was that I finally got to Pitt. I still remember attending my first class at Pitt and walking out with not having any idea of what happened. I started to worry because I thought Pitt Business was not for me since many of classmates seemed to know what was going on. I knew Pitt is where I wanted to be so I had to develop strategies to overcome this situation. For example I attended office hours, talked to my classmates, became more involved in the business school, and got out of my comfort zone. All of these strategies benefitted me because I no longer doubted my accomplishments and finally felt a sense of belonging. It took me a few weeks to really get settled in, but now I know that Pitt was the best decision I made and all my hard work finally paid off.
If I were in a situation where a colleague expressed to me that they were dealing with imposter syndrome I would make sure to help them in any way I could. First, I would make sure they are aware of their accomplishment and that they should be proud of making it to where they are today. I would continue to give them positive feedback while at work and check in on them during the workday to make sure they are ok. The hardest thing about starting a new job is fitting in because you are trying to figure out the company dynamic. Therefore I would make sure that my colleague felt welcomed into the work environment. Having a sense of belonging would hopefully make him/her feel more comfortable and reduce their feelings of fear, which would allow them to be happy with the choice they made to work at the company and be proud of their accomplishments.